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Sunday, November 16, 2014

1st Annual Material Girls Wonder Valley Retreat

What a productive weekend for all who came.  Unfortunately only 7 of the 17 members were able to come but we had a GREAT time with great food and conversations.  Here are 6 of the 7 of us.  Diane took the picture so she wasn't in it.


We sat in a circle kind of so we can all communicate easily.  We had great weather all weekend except for the fog driving up.  But we all got there Friday morning and sewed until about 1 today.

Here are some of the things we all worked on this weekend.  I didn't get pictures of everything like the cute little purses that Diane made and the quilting Kathy did on her Melinda Bula quilt and the quilt bag she was working on today.
I finished this little quilt top for my granddaughter.  

The beautiful purple grey blocks are what Lynn Marie worked on and the other  blocks are what I got done on my Fireworks quilt top.  (8 of 16 done)

Barbara worked on her boutique items.   She made a ton of napkins and started on some aprons yesterday.


Janice worked on machine quilting this beauty and bound it too.

Then she finished this top and had to decide to not border

Or add a border?  
Elaine worked and finished this big block quilt.  She also finished a cute red and white runner


And I got all the blocks and pieces done for this quilt.  Yes, I know about the bad block on the top right.  It's fixed already.  
We reserved the room again for next year at the same time and we hope with this much time to plan, more of our girls can come.  We also planned our Christmas get together as well as discussed a road trip to Sisters Quilt Show in July 2015.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My latest

I finished quilting the Pat Sloan Globetrotting Block of the Month.  Actually finished it last week.  Here you go with a couple of close ups of the quilting.  My original thought was just to do an all over design, but I just couldn't get myself to do it.




I also worked on some Christmas gifts.  Not gifts for me to give, but gifts to make for other people to give.  After all the guild boutique items was shown on my Facebook and blog, my sister and two cousins asked for some stuff for their family for Christmas.  How can I say no.

My sister wanted bowl cozies for her family.  Luckily I had a few left over from the boutique that didn't sell and just had to make a few more specifically for her.
I also made some cup cozies for a cousin.  (didn't get pictures) and then another cousin saw these cute pillows that another person in our guild made and wanted them for her grandchildren.  So I said yes and here are the four.
Today my husband, and in-laws took a trip to see Kelly and family.  I took one picture because I knew my mother-in-law would love it.  She was so excited to see her great-granddaughter and after a warm up period, Dylan let her sit on her lap.  She's a cutie, but rather shy.  Jack, is not.  He was a hoot.  But again, no pictures of him.
Last weekend I volunteered a the Central Valley Quilt and Sew Expo and Retreat at the Visalia Convention Center and sponsored by our local quilt store, Thimble Towne.  The ladies who attended were pampered and spoiled and I had so much fun helping them.  I stayed in one class the whole weekend which was the Dresden class using the Baby Lock Aria.  Now I am a Bernina girl but I have to say that this Baby Lock machine was quilt nice.  We even got to meet the president of Baby Lock and met some of the nicest teachers/instructors and fabric designers, etc.  Fun times.  Can't wait for next year.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Marcus Brothers Block of the Week finished

In August, Marcus Fabrics started a sew along which is basically a block of the week program in which some of their fabric designers posted a block and then the final week was the setting.  Here's a link to the description of their sew along
http://www.marcusfabrics.com/features/articles/ready_to_sew_along.shtml

I had several fat quarters and fabrics that fit the civil war theme and wanted to use them up so thought this was a good thing.  I decided to not use a big border - because I don't think it needed it and because I didn't have enough of any fabric that looked good with it.  Hence the black small border with a cheddar crumb catcher to give it a little spark.

I'm sure eventually I'll sell or donate this.  It's kind of manly and sometimes our guild is looking for quilts for men.  It's a lap sized quilt so it should be perfect for someone.

I also finished my FQS blocks.

It's the only BOM I'm doing right now.  I have all the blocks done for my fall one that my friends and I are doing, but the big center block isn't done yet.  It's out - just need time.  I'm currently machine quilting the Pat Sloan Globetrotting BOM so hope to finish that by this weekend.  

Three friends and I headed to Santa Clara for the Pacific International Quilt Festival on Sunday.  We go every year for just the day.  As always, lot of quilting goodies to see and buy, lots of beautiful quilts to gawk at (but no pictures taken by me).  But my friend always has a picture of us taken while on our lunch break.  

I didn't have to drive which was nice and one friend didn't quite get up on time to make it.  The one thing I really wanted to find there were the Bloc Loc rulers.  But by the time we got there on Sunday they only had a few rulers left and none of the ones I wanted.  

Anyway, thank you for looking.  Back to Dancing with the Stars and quilting. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It is Done!


My Farmer's Wife Quilt is finally finished.  Started in June of 2013.  See my first post here.  This is the first quilt that has taken me this long.



I still need to block it.  It's been through the wash 2 times already with oxi clean and color catchers and there is one spot still on the aqua color inner border.  This was the first and only time I will ever make a quilt using paper templates.  It was a lesson in patience.  I spent a lot of time on the blocks so when it came to the border I could have just slapped on a plain border but figured I should spend as much energy into the border as I did to the inside.  It's a simple raw edge applique using the button hole stitch around the applique.  I gridded the background of the border using the checks in the fabric.  Each block is quilted differently.

I love it.  I love the colors and I love that I used aqua for the sashing.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New England in the Fall

Three friends and I just came back last Wednesday from a 10 day trip to New England.  After listening to Nancy Rink's lecture on the Mill Girls 2 years ago at Road to California, this trip was starting to be planned.  It helped that I have a beautiful, wonderful sister and brother-in-law who live right outside of Boston and were kind enough to let us use their house as a base of our day trips.

The start of our trip was a little less smooth than we expected.  Our first flight out of Fresno was to leave at 6:00 for LA with a connection to Boston.  However, the pilot called in sick and it took 4 hours for them to finally find one to fly the plane.  But by that time we missed our connection but luckily the United Airline guy working our gate (bless his heart - he had to deal with some pretty impatient people - one lady in particular was very vocal about her displeasure) well, he put us on an American Airline flight later in the day.  Finally they found a pilot and we got to LA and we had to run to the AA wing to catch our next flight.  And we did it.  We finally got to Boston, but our luggage did not.  So we filed our claim, and went to get our rental car.  Got to my sisters house, had a glass of wine and went to bed.  It was a long day.

Brenda took us to Sudbury the next day which is home to oldest operating inn in the U.S. built and run by the Howe family for many generations. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote Tales of a Wayside Inn, a book of poems published in 1863. In the book, the poem The Landlord's Tale was the source of the immortal phrase "listen my children and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere."  It also still has an operating grist mill.  Our first historical adventure of the trip.  Oh, we also went to 2 Christmas Tree shops and a very great grocery store.  

By the time we got home, our luggage was at the house.  Yea!  Now we can finish our adventures without having to worry about that.  I honestly can't remember the order of our adventures, but we did go to Maine where we had lobster pie at Maine's Diner (which was featured on Diners, Dives and Drive In's), Perkins Cove where we took a nice walk on the Marginal Way walk - we had beautiful warm weather that day.  We headed to Kennibunkport, shopped a bit and had our first Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and found the Bush Compound.  And yes, we did find a quilt store on the way.  (Can't remember the name but it was a lovely store.)



We also went to Rhode Island one day and toured 4 mansions.  All so wonderful and interesting.  Amazing how the rich lived.  



Here we are in the backyard of one of them.  It was a sunny but slightly windy day.  We took the audio tours of  The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House and Rosecliff.  

We went to Cape Cod and drove all the way to Provincetown and back.  We did stop at 3 quilt stores that day.  But here is a view from the restaurant we ate lobster at in Provincetown, which was the Lobster Pot. 

Here was our Lobster lunch.  We had to have our waiter show us how to eat it.  


On Thursday, we took the train to Boston for the Freedom Trail and then on to Fenway Park for a Red Sox game.  The picture of our feet was the start of the historical trail and it all ended at the USS Constitution.  
Then we took the subway to Fenway and it was packed.

 But I finally got to go to a professional ball game (without it being cancelled for rain or divets in the ice).

We had to leave after the 6th inning because we were tired and had a long day the next day and we weren't sure about the train times.  They were winning 9-1 before we left and I think the final game (against Tampa Bay) was 11-1.  It was great fun.  We had great seats - thanks Janice Minyard for getting the tickets.

The next day we left for Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, New Hampshire.  (They were having a sidewalk sale!).
We shopped and then went across the street to the beach on this beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee to eat our lunch.
My brother-in-law suggested on the way home we go north a bit and drive across Rt. 112, the Kancamagus Highway, or 'the Kanc'.  Amazing views. Here's a panoramic view - does not do the colors justice.  It was just gorgeous.

 
On Saturday we went to Lowell to go to the New England Quilt Museum.  I took a few pictures of some beautiful quilts.
 

 

 




We also got a tour of the mills where the mills girls walked.  It was National Park Day so our entry to all these places was free.



video
It was loud.  Very interesting to see how those people worked and lived.  We also got to tour the houses that they lived in.  After those tours we also went to Lowell Textile museum.

On Sunday (the 2nd one) we took a harbor cruise and then walked back to the Commons to see the Make Way For Duckling statues that we missed on Thursday and to see Cheers.  On our way searching for our car and a place for lunch (which we found a pub that was wonderful right by the start of the Freedom Trail) we saw an Indian Wedding procession in the street.



On Monday we headed to Vermont where we went to the Ben & Jerry's factory.  Yum.


Did you know they have a graveyard where all the retired flavors are buried.  The epitaphs were hilarious.
Our next stop was Cabot Cheese factory.
And then on to King Arthur Flour shop and bakery.  (No pictures there but oh, the scenery on the way there was tough to beat.)

On our last day, we headed to Salem and also stopped at 4 quilts shops that day.  One really good one close to my sisters house and the other 3 were pretty small but nice.  It was raining that day (first real rainy day) so we didn't get out and about much to see the history of the town.  Headed home early so we could pack because we had to leave the next day.  

We put 1803 miles on the rental car.  Janice had a fit bit and kept track of how much we walked and the most we did was on the Freedom Trail day where we logged over 9 miles.  Every step was worth it.  

When we decided to do this trip the girls decided they wanted to make my sister and brother-in-law a quilt so one late Friday night, we pulled the fabric and decided on the pattern and this is the final quilt.  This is me and my sister in front of her house.

Four ladies on a long vacation together and we are still all talking to each other!   Wonderful trip with some wonderful friends  Thank you Brenda and Gene for hosting me and my friends and thanks to Janice for being a great navigator and to Elaine and Kathy for not being the typical back seat drivers!
Came home on Wednesday and had to go to work the next day and had guild that  night in which I was in charge of programs.  Easy night - we made paper quilted cards which luckily I had all ready before we left.  Worked on Friday and had our guilds boutique all day Saturday, which was very successful.

Thanks for looking.